BT proposes removal of 49 public payphones across Northumberland

Payphones at Bamburgh and Ingram Bridge.Payphones at Bamburgh and Ingram Bridge.
Payphones at Bamburgh and Ingram Bridge.

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BT is proposing to remove 49 public payphones across Northumberland.

The telecommunications company has started a 90 day consultation process over the move and lodged its plans with Northumberland County Council.

Among those under threat is the payphone at Ingram Bridge in Northumberland National Park which figures show is used 23 times per month on average.

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The payphone on Bamburgh Front Street is also earmarked for removal, as it was last year when the parish council objected, although it is only used twice per month.

The public payphone in Bamburgh.The public payphone in Bamburgh.
The public payphone in Bamburgh.

In a letter to the council, Rick Thompson, BT payphone planning officer, said: “We’re continually reviewing the demand for our payphones and we’ve identified 49 public payphones in your area that aren’t being used enough. We’re proposing to remove them under the 90 day consultation process.

“Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK having mobile coverage.

“This is important because as long as there is mobile network coverage, it’s possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no coverage from your own mobile network provider.

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“Also, Ofcom’s affordability report found that most people no longer view payphones as essential for consumers in most circumstances.”

The payphone at Ingram Bridge.The payphone at Ingram Bridge.
The payphone at Ingram Bridge.

The consultation process gives local residents the opportunity to 'adopt' a traditional red heritage phone box for just £1 and make them an asset for the community. For more information visit

The consultation period ends on September 28.

The full list of BT payphones at risk in Northumberland: Haggerston, Bamburgh, Belford, Norham, Mindrum, Pawston, Kirknewton, Wooler, Ingram Bridge, Whittingham, Alnham, Biddlestone, Harbottle, Holystone, Sharperton, Rothbury, Pauperhaugh, Felton, Morpeth Market Place, Choppington, Blyth Craster Close, Blyth Plessey Road, Seghill, Prudhoe, Stamfordham, Elsdon, Byrness, Kielder x 2, Falstone, Tower Knowe, West Woodburn, Ridsdale, Thropton, Humshaugh, Hexham Dipton Mill Road, Whitley Chapel, Shaftoe, Henshaw, Melkridge, Haltwhistle Townfoot, Comb Hill, Haltwhistle Westgate, Haltwhistle Crossfield Terrace, Gilsland, Halton-Lea-Gate, Allenheads x 2.